Imagini ale paginilor


lie l

have the highest sense of the honour your majesty has done them-but the republic, as godmother, claims her right in this case of naming the child,



10 01'

ན ནཱ

02 for




In all reason, quoth the king-she will christen him Francis, or Henry, or Louis, or some name that she knows will be agreeable to us. Your majesty is deceived, replied the minister. I have this hour received a dispatch from our resident, with a determination upon that point also. And what name has the republic fixed upon for the Dauphin? Shadrach, Mesech, Abed-nego, replied the minister. By Saint Peter's girdle, I will have nothing to do with the Swiss, cried Francis the First, pulling up his breeches, and walking hastily across the floor.

[ocr errors]


Your majesty, replied the minister calmly, cannot bring yourself off.

We'll pay them in money, said the king. Sire, there are not sixty thousand crowns in the treasury, answered the minister. I'll pawn the best jewel in my crown, quoth Francis the First.

[ocr errors]

Your honour stands pawned already in this matter, answered Monsieur le Premier.

Then, Monsieur le Premier, said the king, by we'll go to war with 'em.

STERNE. Tristram Sbandy, vol. iv. cb. xxi. D9X



A GENEALOGIST sets forth to a prince that he is descended in a direct line from a count, whose kindred, three or four hundred years ago, had made


made a family compact with a house, the memory

d given


dists extinguished. That house had some

of which vourbon





The province, which is



C. &


distant claim to claim to a province, the last proprietor of which died of an apoplexy. The prince and his council in instantly resolve that this province belongs to him of divine right. some hundred leagues from him, protests that it aberl does not so much as know him, that it is not disposed to be governed by him, that before prescribing laws to them, their consent at least was necessary these allegations do not so much as reach the prince's ears; it is insisted on that his right is incontestible. He instantly picks up a multitude, who have nothing to do and nothing to lose clothes them with coarse blue cloth; puts on them hats bound with coarse white worsted; makes them turn to the right and left; and thus marches away with them to glory.


Other princes, on this armament, take part in it to the best of their ability, and soon cover a small extent of country with more hireling murderers, than Gengis Kan, Tamerlane and Bajazet had at their heels.

People at no small distance, on hearing that fighting is going forward, and that if they would make one, there are five or six sous a day for them, immediately divide into two bands, like reapers, and go and sell their services to the best bidder. These multitudes furiously butcher one another, not only without having any concern in the quarS201 rel, but without so much as knowing what it is







about. aber

[blocks in formation]

Sometimes five or six powers are engaged, three against three, two against four, sometimes even one against five, all equally detesting one another, and friends and foes by turns, agreeing only in one thing, to all the mischief possible.


Philosoph. Dict. Art. War. AMONG the genii who preside over the empires of the world, Ithuriel is one of the first rank, and is appointed for the province of Upper Asia. One morning he descended at the house of Babouc, and Said unto him-Babouc, the follies and excesses of the Persians have drawn down our wrath. Yesterday was held an assembly of the genii of Upper Asia, to determine if they should chastise Persepolis or destroy it. Go into that city, examine. every thing, and then return and give me a faithful account of it: upon thy report I will resolve whether to correct the city or exterminate it.

Babouc mounted his camel, and departed with his servants. After some days he met the Persian army near the plains of Senaar, who were on the point of giving battle to the Indian army. He ac costed a soldier whom he found at a distance from the camp, and asked him the cause of the war. By all the gods, said the soldier, I know nothing of the matter. It is not my business. My trade is to kill and be killed, to get my bread. It matters not, whom I serve, But if you would know why we fight even ask my captain.

Babouc, having made the soldier a small present, entered the camp. He soon got acquainted with the captain, and asked him the occasion of the


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

war. How can you imagine that I should know it, said the captain, or what signifies the occasion of of it to me. I live two hundred leagues from Persepolis; I hear that war is declared, I go, according to our custom, to seek preferment or death.-But do not your comrades know more of it than you? said Babouc,-Not one of them, replied the officer; our chief satrap only knows exactly the reason why we cut each others throats.


Babouc amazed, introduced himself to the generals, and became familiar with them. At last one of them informed him, that the war, which. for twenty years had laid Asia waste, arose originally from a quarrel between an eunuch of one of the wives of the king of Persia and an officer of the customs of the king of India. The dispute was about a duty which amounted to almost the thirtieth part of a darique. The prime minister, of the Indies, and ours, with great dignity maintained the interests of their respective masters; the dispute grew warm; they took the field with an army of a million of soldiers on both sides; that army must be yearly recruited with more than four hundred thousand men; murders, burnings, ruin and devastation increase; the universe suffers, and the mischief continues. Our first minister, and the minister of the Indies, often protest, that they act

only for the good of mankind, and at every protestation some city is destroyed, or some province ravaged.



Babouc, cb. i.


[ocr errors]

THE English and French are at present engaged in a very destructive war, have already spilled much blood, are excessively irritated, and all upon account of one side's desiring to wear greater quantities of furs than the other.

Pin to


The pretext of the war is about some lands a thousand leagues off; a country cold, desolate, and hideous; a country belonging to a people who were in possession for time immemorial. The savages of Canada claim a property in the country in dispute; they have all the pretensions which long possession can confer. Here they have reigned for ages, without rivals in dominion, and knew no enemies but the prowling bear, or insidious tyger; their native forests produced all the necessaries of life, and they found ample luxury in the enjoy ment. In this manner they might have continued to live to eternity, had not the English been informed that those countries produced furs in great abundance. From that moment the country became an object of desire; was found that furs were things very much wanted in England; the ladies edged some of their clothes with furs, and muffs were worn both by gentlemen and ladies. In short, furs were found indispensably necessary to the happiness of the state; and the king was consequently petitioned to grant not only the country of Canada, but all the savages belonging to it, to the subjects of England, in order to have the people supplied with proper quantities of this necessary commodity.




ner, WOH

[ocr errors]


So very reasonable a request was immediately




« ÎnapoiContinuă »